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Nasal Polyps

Southern ENT & Sinus Center

Otolaryngologists located in Birmingham, AL

At first, nasal polyps may seem like a temporary cold or allergies. But when nasal polyps cause persistent symptoms, you need medical treatment to avoid complications such as recurring infections and asthma flare-ups. D. Trent Lowery, MD, David Walters, MD, Matthew Fort, MD, and the experienced team at Southern ENT & Sinus Center in Birmingham, Alabama, offer comprehensive care for nasal polyps, including in-office CT imaging to verify your diagnosis, first-line treatment with medications, and expertise in minimally invasive surgery when needed to remove the polyps. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking feature today.

Nasal Polyps Q & A

What causes nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are benign (noncancerous), sac-like growths that develop inside your nose and/or sinuses. The polyps are soft but inflamed and swollen and they can get large enough to block your nasal cavity and sinuses.

Nasal polyps can occur without an apparent cause, or an underlying condition such as chronic sinusitis (sinus infection), chronic rhinitis (nasal infection), or allergic rhinitis (hay fever) may trigger them. Asthma and aspirin sensitivity are also associated with nasal polyps.

You can develop nasal polyps anywhere in your nasal passages and sinuses. However, they frequently occur in the nose where the sinuses drain into the nasal passage.

What symptoms develop due to nasal polyps?

If your nasal polyps are small, they may not cause significant symptoms. When problems develop, you may experience:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Facial pressure or fullness
  • Nasal discharge
  • Diminished sense of smell
  • Diminished sense of taste
  • Itching around your eyes
  • Chronic sinusitis

If you develop a chronic infection, you may also have a fever and yellowish drainage from your nose.

How are nasal polyps diagnosed?

After reviewing your medical history and symptoms, your provider at Southern ENT & Sinus Center examines your nose. In some cases, they can see the polyps with a visual exam, but they often perform other diagnostic tests.

You may need allergy testing to rule out allergies as the source of your symptoms. To verify the presence, size, and location of nasal polyps, your provider may perform CT imaging. 

Southern ENT & Sinus Center offers on-site CT imaging performed by a licensed technician in their fully accredited CT center.

How are nasal polyps treated?

Your treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and overall health. A comprehensive treatment plan may include one or more of the following:

  • Medicines to decrease inflammation
  • Medicine to shrink the polyps
  • Sinus rinsing with a saline (saltwater) solution
  • Antihistamines to reduce symptoms
  • Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual treatment)
  • Aspirin desensitization therapy if needed
  • Endoscopic surgery to remove the polyps
  • Balloon sinuplasty to treat chronic sinusitis

Endoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure using a specialized tool that’s inserted through your nose. The slender endoscope contains lighting, a video camera, and the tools needed to remove your nasal polyps.

If you struggle with ongoing nasal symptoms, call Southern ENT & Sinus Center, or schedule an appointment online.